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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Amidst the tears and cheers, applause could be heard coming from St. Michael’s Lutheran Church during funeral services for fallen Fire Captain Michael Goodwin. With family, friends, city leaders and hundreds of firefighters gathered Thursday to say their final goodbyes to a fallen hero, Reverend Marjorie Neal called on Mayor Nutter to do what he could to reach a contract agreement with firefighters.

The comment came as the pastor was reflecting on a conversation she had Captain Goodwin.

“I remember having a conversation with Mike.  I was questioning and I scolding him because as Captain I felt he should be supervising from the sidewalk. And he replied, ‘Pastor I will not send my men into a place I would not be willing to go myself.’ He wasn’t a hired hand. He respected. He loved and he served his men and women of his community. As a faithful servant he was willing to lay his life down. And he did. This simple humble man gave his life and we will forever be changed for knowing him,” said Reverend Marjorie Neal.  “Now, to mark his passing, I want to be so bold as to reach out to our mayor and city commissioners and humbly request that you do whatever is necessary to provide a contract for our firefighters. “

A loud applause and cheers followed the Pastor’s remarks.

Philadelphia firefighters have been working without a contract since 2009.

Fire Captain Michael Goodwin, a 29 year veteran, died Saturday (April 6) while battling a blaze in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia.

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